What is the difference writing (or saying):

""Trains "for" London"" or ""Trains "to" London""?

When we should use one and when the other?

  • Very interesting and tricky question. Though the expressions are synonymous, they're not totally interchangeable (and I'm leaving out obvious different usages such as 'Lima to build 50 new trains for London services ' and 'signalman misdirected trains to London'). 'The number of trains to London will be reduced if Breeching's recommendations are implemented' sounds the far more natural option to my ears. Perhaps it's a register issue: 'Excuse me, is this the train for King's Nympton?' 'To' also has a terminus connotation. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 26 '15 at 10:55

This is also down to colloquial usage. It would not be unusual to hear in some parts of the English speaking world the following :

"Where are you for?" "I'm for London."

It sounds to my ears, that the difference is in the missing verb

"I am going to London"


"I am bound for London"

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Context is usually important when assessing these questions. Yet I can say that "trains for London" might best be applied to a programme, e.g. "they should purchase more trains for London" or "collecting toy trains for London tots." It would certainly be proper to say, at the station, "do you have trains bound for London?" or "do you have trains to London?"

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